Graffiti art at the Aotearoa Hip-Hop Summit, Auckland | Photos by Lorena Gibson, 2001

Coming to study anthropology or do anthropological research in Aotearoa/New Zealand? Here are some of the things you'll need to know.

Study Anthropology in Aotearoa/New Zealand

If you are coming to study for more than three months, you will need to apply for a student visa from Immigration New Zealand. Visas are issued on an annual basis, meaning you will need to re-apply each year. A medical and police check is required once every three years.

Courses in anthropology are available at seven universities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. Each university has its own areas of anthropological expertise and speciality.

University of Auckland

Fields of study at the University of Auckland include Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. Courses cover a broad range of topics from Pacific archaeology to medical anthropology and gender, sexuality and popular music.

Auckland University of Technology

At the Auckland University of Technology, anthropology is taught alongside other subjects in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences which includes anthropology papers.

  A community of elephants and their handlers leave their stable at the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Center for their daytime grazing in the forests, grasslands, and rivers of the Chitwan National Park, Nepal | Photo: Piers Locke, 2011

A community of elephants and their handlers leave their stable at the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Center for their daytime grazing in the forests, grasslands, and rivers of the Chitwan National Park, Nepal | Photo: Piers Locke, 2011

Massey University

Massey University specialises in Social Anthropology. Topics covered include politics, globalisation, inequality, human-environmental relations, human rights, visual culture, systems of healing, food, gender, and religion.

University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury specialises in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Topics covered include identity, ritual, power, human evolution, food and eating, kinship, environment, development, disaster, ethnicity, history, and multispecies anthropology.

  Mt Hagen Cultural Show, Papua New Guinea | Photo: Lorena Gibson, August 2006

Mt Hagen Cultural Show, Papua New Guinea | Photo: Lorena Gibson, August 2006

University of Waikato

The University of Waikato specialises in sociocultural anthropology with a strong focus on the Pacific region. Topics covered include ethnicity and identity, Polynesia and its peoples, food, culture, power, the anthropology of livelihood, and Māori heritage management.

University of Otago

There are three broad areas of Anthropology at Otago: archaeology, biological anthropology and social anthropology. Topics covered include contemporary Pacific cultures, Pacific archaeology, anthropology of money, medical anthropology, death, grief, ritual, development, and archaeological methods and practice.

  Skulls at Choeung Ek Genocidal Memorial Center, Cambodia |   Photo: Caroline Bennett, June 2012

Skulls at Choeung Ek Genocidal Memorial Center, Cambodia | Photo: Caroline Bennett, June 2012

Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington specialises in Cultural Anthropology. Topics covered include medical anthropology, visual anthropology, development and humanitarianism, environmental and economic anthropology, ritual, conflict and reconciliation, inequality, migration, identity, kinship, material culture, and Pacific history.


Doing Research in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Anthropologists planning to conduct research in Aotearoa/New Zealand will need to obtain a research visa.

Please note that this information is provided only as a general guideline. It is not intended as and does not substitute for immigration advice.

Special visitor visa (for short-term visits)

Academics undertaking activities of a pedagogical, educational, professional management or research nature may be granted a three-month special visitor visa. If you are from the United Kingdom, you may be granted a six-month visitor visa. You will need a letter of invitation from the institute or institutes at which you plan to work. Visit Immigration New Zealand for more information.

Work visa (for visits of more than three months)

You must apply for a work visa before travelling to New Zealand if you wish to stay for longer than three months, make multiple visits with a total duration of more than three months in any calendar year, or undertake any work that falls outside the scope of the Visiting academic category. Immigration New Zealand has more information about applying for temporary work visas.

Work visas are issued on an annual basis, meaning you will need to re-apply each year. A medical and police check is required once every three years. In some circumstances, where the research project is longer term and you need to be in New Zealand for three or more years, you might be eligible for a 3-year visa instead of one year at a time. Contact Immigration New Zealand for more information.